Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Dinosaurs in the Garden of Eden

I should have known the Jesus fish was a portent of some kind.

They are so omnipresent here that I have become kind of blind to them. I see them, but I don't see them, like Kudzu and Rebel Flags.

We were on the Interstate heading to Turner Field for a Braves Game last night, and I noticed a Jesus Fish on the car in front of us. It reminded me that husband had promised to get me a Darwin Fish for my van, and had not followed through. We talked about it briefly and then, as happens when you have kids, a tangent ensued and the matter was forgotten.

Later that night, driving home, talking about this and that but not really talking about anything of substance, Diminutive One asked,

"Mom...how did people get on the earth?"

His ability to extrapolate profound and abstruse concepts from idle chit chat is astounding. Also, he has impeccable timing, because he always seems to ask these questions when I am least prepared. Forget AP or PP or any of that horseshit. I practice SOS parenting. Sink or Swim.

Husband glanced at me, smirking. He knows this is a hot button issue for me. I am rabid about not introducing or perpetuating ficitious and outmoded ideals. Namely, Creationism, or God forbid (pun intended), Intelligent Design. But, I do want my kids to think for themselves and so I also resist the urge to promote my own ideals as unimpeachable.

Donning my diplomat hat, I explained that some people believe the whole Adam and Eve thing and some believe that human beings evolved from lower life forms. This led to an abbreviated explanation of the big bang theory, which led to an equally abbreviated discussion about mitochondrial DNA and the out of Africa Theory and Dinosaurs and Cavemen which somehow led to speculation about life on other planets, at which point my brain exploded.

"No more questions!" I snapped. Clearly, I do not belong in a classroom. In my defense, it was midnight and I had just spent four hours in sub-tropical heat with 40,000 likkered up rednecks.

Anyway...it was productive. The boys, of their own accord, decided that there was probably more evidence to support evolution than anything else. They never asked what I believe, or what Husband believes, though I was ready for it. At one point however, Diminutive One asked, "What if you kind of believe both things?"

Well, honey, then you run for a seat on the Board of Education!

But seriously...I get what he means. How does a person of faith reconcile their beliefs with scientific data? It's a toughie. My kids are not being raised in a Christian household, but one branch of our family tree is extremely religious. If at some point they decide to embrace Christianity, I will be happy for them, and do my best to support their convictions. So it's a fair question.

He continued, "If you don't believe in Adam and Eve, that kinda means you don't believe in God, right?"

"BINGO!" I wanted to shout. I didn't. Instead I said, "Then I guess you have to decide which you want to believe more." Lame. Lame. Lame. Again, midnight. Rednecks.

All he said was, "Oh."

He was silent the rest of the way home, but I swear, I could hear his synapses firing as he worked through all that we had told him.

Pre-Pubescent One was contemplative as well. After the funeral last week he had asked me, "Mom, do you ever think about where you go if there isn't really any heaven?"

All I could think to say was, "Yes, babe, I think about it all the time."

I want them to know it's okay to question, but I wish I could offer them the security of answers. Maybe allowing them to question is it's own kind of security. That's what I'm telling myself anyway.

Sometimes having kids who think too much really blows.

19 Comments:

  • At 12:01 PM, Blogger Oh, The Joys said…

    Wow. I'm so right there with you on this one, in so many ways. Faith would be great to have, but I don't have it. Board of Education! Hahahaha! (I live in ATL too.) Can't even begin to say how much I connect with this.

     
  • At 1:53 PM, Blogger Mitzi Green said…

    amen (pun intended) to that.

    i sometimes wonder if it wouldn't be easier to just let the boy follow the path i took--i.e., have religion beat into you as "the only theory" from birth and figure out on your own what a crock it all is when you get to be about 12 or so. wouldn't that be easier for all of us (meaning, me)? then i could throw him a little "you figured it out" party or something and leave him REALLY confused as to why i didn't just tell him i wasn't a believer all along.

    it's too hard raising kids to think for themselves.

     
  • At 3:33 PM, Anonymous mothergoosemouse said…

    One day last week, while leaving the girls' school, Tacy noticed a basket of free DVDs in the vestibule. She took one, showed me, and asked if she could have it. I glanced at it quickly, saw nothing alarming about it, and agreed.

    At home, she asked to watch it, and I obliged. I paid little attention until I heard something about "how the world was created".

    I jumped up and strode over to the DVD player, announcing that we would not watch this DVD, that she could watch an episode of Spongebob instead.

    Tacy asked why we couldn't watch the DVD, and in my irritation (not with her, mostly with myself), I replied, "Because it is BRAINWASHING!"

    But that begs the question: Is it brainwashing to present my point of view - not necessarily as fact, but as the conclusion I've reached because it is logical and rational?

    Food for thought.

    (We used to have a Darwin fish and a dashboard Jesus.)

     
  • At 4:42 PM, Anonymous H.A.Page said…

    I think that God is big enough to be questioned and that one of the things to look forward to in Heaven is having the "aha" moment of understanding all that there is...

    The more I study, the more I learn, the more I realize that I know so little and how much there is that I don't know...

    It is not what one knows, but that one knows where to go to get the information and to know how to learn and more importantly, HOW TO THINK. Which you know how to do. Very well.

    Cheers.

     
  • At 6:20 PM, Anonymous Kvetch said…

    Exhausting, is it not? No wonder we run and hide in cyberspace. It's clear as day that there is no divine entity here - unless you count those superbloggers (and I do not).

     
  • At 9:13 AM, Blogger sunshine scribe said…

    My heart is racing and my palms are sweaty just knowing that that will be my over thinking, inquisitive son. We already get big questions at 5 ... "what is death?" "why is Daddy brown?"

    Complicated by the fact that my husband and I are on different sides of the fence on this particular hot button issue so an unbiased presentation will be nothing short of essential.

     
  • At 1:11 PM, Blogger Karyn said…

    Yup. It's the scariest ride on the Midway of Parenting if you ask me. Makes me dizzy, leaves me reeling and feeling like I want to throw up.

     
  • At 2:30 PM, Anonymous Antique Mommy said…

    I believe in God, but I also love geology and can't ignore the fossil record. I don't think science or faith either one answers all the questions of life. I sort of believe that somehow or another evolution and intelligent design are partners and not opponents. I am raising my son to be a Christian, but hopefully one with an open and searching heart and one who is respectful to all people regardless of their beliefs.

     
  • At 2:36 PM, Blogger Veronica Mitchell said…

    I realize this is a difficult issue for your family, and I don't want to butt in when you haven't asked for suggestions. Let me just say that there are people - like me - who both believe in God and accept the reality of biological evolution, without experiencing any conflict.

     
  • At 5:15 PM, Blogger Blog Antagonist said…

    Please, don't feel that you're butting in. I admire your faith, even though I don't share it, and I really value Christian perspectives when it comes to these kinds of issues.

    I would be interested to know how you reconcile the two different concepts when they are so at odds with one another. However, I completely understand if you're not interested in defending your views in such a public medium.

    Either way, I honestly appreciate you sharing your thoughts.

     
  • At 8:14 PM, Blogger Mom101 said…

    SUCH a great topic! My MIL, who is a devout mormon, and I shared this dialogue while walking through (of all places) the DC museum of natural history. As in dinosaur fossils. As in big bang theory.

    I asked her this very thing and her answer was something about how they realize the universe/7 day thing was sort of hyperbole -- poetic license and such and that since they didn't have calendars then (um, yes they did) one day could have meant a hundred years.

    So I asked her when they it's possible that genesis is hyperbole and say, Deuteronomy isn't. No answer.

    I suppose believing in God isn't mutually exclusive with understanding that the bible was written by men hundreds of years after the fact, and edited by the church with a particular agenda. We shouldn't confuse faith with all the tenets of a particular religion.

     
  • At 8:27 PM, Blogger Her Bad Mother said…

    What Mom-101 said.

    And - yes. I too fear the thinking children.

     
  • At 6:51 PM, Blogger K8 said…

    Last week while driving to the GA Aquarium with my two children (4 and 2) and the neighbor boy (5) the kids where exclaiming at the tall buildings when neighbor boy said "Jesus built all those buildings!". I feel your unprepared pain. Through clenched teeth I merely commented "well, no, he didnt". The chatter moved on but I am fervently composing my origins of the universe reply, if I can just decide what I believe. Loved the post.

     
  • At 10:10 PM, Blogger Carolie said…

    I'm a Darwinist Christian, and I don't see any conflict...for me.

    Do I think the bible is the literal "Word o' God"? Nope. I think it's a series of books written by a series of men, flavored by the politics and culture of the time.

    I also think you're a wonderful parent to work so hard at being even-handed, and giving your children the tools to make intelligent choices for themselves, instead of making those choices for them. Brava!

     
  • At 11:56 PM, Blogger Blog Antagonist said…

    A Darwinist Christian? I never knew there was such a thing! I would really be interested in hearing more about that.

     
  • At 7:55 PM, Blogger bubandpie said…

    Add me to this list of those who think that theism doesn't hinge entirely on the literal existence of the Garden of Eden, snake, fruit, and all. Even faith in the Bible does not necessarily require one to become oblivious to its use of literary genres, including myth (in the early chapters of Genesis), poetry, proverbs, genealogies, etc.

    As for the broader issue of creation vs. evolution, Christians hold a variety of views on the degree of divine involvement in the physical world, ranging from a deistic "First Cause" to a Calvinistic total sovereignty approach. The main difference between an atheistic Darwinist account of the world's origins and that of most educated Christians outside the U.S. would have to do with the "why" rather than the "how."

     
  • At 7:58 PM, Blogger Veronica Mitchell said…

    BA, since you asked for more explanation, I have been working up a post on this rather than take over your comments for something so long and complicated. It is taking me a while, but it is in the works. Hopefully I will have it up sometime this weekend. Thank you for your interest.

     
  • At 9:26 PM, Blogger Blog Antagonist said…

    Thank you for letting me know! I am looking forward to reading it. I know it will be worth the wait.

     
  • At 8:25 AM, Blogger Tonya said…

    Just passing through and wanted to say that I appreciate you allowing your children to choose for themselves, even though you vehemently disagree with one of the views. You sound like a great parent. And there are very few of those today.

     

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